Harmony In The Universe . . . How Does My Intention Help?

Be present yoga_edited

I’m revisiting a book I published 15 years ago, a wellness book for women, with a view to a re-write and a re-publish. It was such a positive book, and it’s a pleasure to read to myself now how important my intentions were at that time. Here’s an extract:

You have to know exactly where you are right now – what you are changing. So that’s why I ask you to start becoming aware of what is wrong and what you are going to change, in what order and when. You can’t change anything without being aware what you are changing.

You need a clear picture so you can change that picture. Then, when you can see clearly what is ahead of you, and what it is going to entail, then you can start making some informed decisions about how to start. Once you have started you will take control . . . You’ll know what to expect, because I’ve told you. Then you can start thinking about how as you change, other things around you will change – and how do you feel about that ?

And as you change you will be aware of what you are leaving behind and why – and how do you feel about that? Which means that there’s an emotional process you are going through too . . .”

So, obviously this was a book about improving wellness through lifestyle changes, using intention for a more balanced self. And the steps for balancing our physical being are the same steps we take for any intention to bring harmony. What are you starting with, what is your intention, how are you going to plant the seed and make it grow, what are you going to experience on the way: how does your change affect other changes?

What do I think now? 15 years down the road, I can see what my intentions have brought about. And my experiences have brought an amazing knowledge: the Universe is continually creating by manifesting an infinite number of possibilities as at any given moment: in the “gestalt”, the story of the whole Universe in the moment. And to do this it relies on synchronicity to bring order out of chaos. Synchronicity is our destiny . . .

When we create an intention, for our life, our practice, anything, we are affiriming that our individual intentions are part of this great big scheme of things – we’re part of the whole, our minds are part of the universal mind. Our small, individual intentions are important in the amazing process of synchronicity – our change makes other change.

We are part of this great creative process with the Divine intelligence, and how intelligent exactly, leaves me in awe. Part of our minds, in the psyche, is engaged in the spontaneous ordering, or creative process, and it took me years to learn this and experience it as I understood my own creative process as a writer and teacher. What helps the process is trust. And what hinders it is our mis-placed sense of the importance of our small illusions about life. Our individual intention may well just be premonition of our part in the whole of humanity evolving.

In Yoga we know that our hearts are always in silent communication with the Divine, and especially in Meditation we know that our minds are continually linked to the Universal mind, through Bindu Chakra (back of the head), both sending and receiving information to and from  the Universe. How absolutely miraculous we are as human beings, how potentially Divine we all are.

Once we’ve understood, usually through practice or some process of change as we make our way along the path of life, that there is a part of our mind that is about experience versus illusion, then we are open to the understanding that the Divine Intelligence is basically just waiting for us to “call home”. And we do this by intention. Right now, many, many of us are sending our intentions out to the Universe, calling home for some harmony for humanity.

So how can you start this process and practice of harmonising your thoughts, by calling on your power of intention?

You can start by taking time out for contemplation, taking regular time to look deep within. You will find inner beauties and love you may have overlooked or forgotten about. A simple intention for harmony for humanity could be one of the Zen noble truths: May all beings know happiness.

Spend time appreciating beauty and inspiration and music. These all raise our vibrations because they take us momentarily to a Divine, sacred place . . . and then return us to our normality, bringing that sense of the sacred back with us into daily life, leaving us somehow changed for ever for the better.

There was a lovely, still and almost quiet moment at lunch the other day in what is normally a busy lunchtime (and breakfast)  Irish bar. Myself, another woman and an old feller sat at separate tables. It was like a “movie moment” as we listened to the Phil Collins track we became aware was playing: Against All Odds. As it ended, we were all in a private, personal space and the old feller wiped away a tear. Songs can provide special messages just for you. A very simple intention for harmony for all of humanity could be: May all beings know peace.

I’ll leave with a quote from man to whom harmony in the Universe was of prime importance, something Albert Einstein said with great beauty and lucidity:

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself with the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of true religiousness and art.”

Namaste, Susan

And as inspiration helps with inner harmony, you might like this – it’s just a demo download on my server as I haven’t managed to check out the copyright on using Pablo Neruda’s poetry (so it’s free in other words!).

A Return to Innocence

We are continually in communication with Divinity, and Bindu Chakra, the energetic centre and psychic gateway at the back of the head is where we experience the amber nectar of immortality . . . the sweet nectar of the gods: we awaken and activate this center in our Yogic meditation practices, which essentially are a return to innocence.

Our Perfect Innocence

And of course whenever we express this kind of concept, from the cosmology and mythology of Yoga, we are talking about projecting outwards our own inner god-like qualities. Bindu Chakra represents a point in our inner cosmos, integral to our attitude to life and our relationship to the world and our environment . . . remembering our perfect innocence.

Hatha Yoga teachers would not normally teach this, as Bindu Chakra is not in their “books”. These practices come from deeper and older practices originating in the path of Tantra . . . practices which respect the experience of the vibration of the Divine within the human bodymind. So if you’re used to Hatha Yoga teaching, and you’re concerned about the way you look and how you move, these practices will be very different for you.

Reclaiming Spiritual Heritage

Right now in our evolution, some of us are reclaiming our spiritual heritage: what it involves is change, badly needed change for our world and planet. And the way we can make the necessary space for change to happen is of course to let go, to adapt, to learn and work with a process to make this happen. When we speak of process, with Yoga, we speak of practice.

So, Bindu Chakra practices. What happens with this practice, this process? We re-set our buttons . . . wash our emotions . . . straighten out our heads . . . connect with our soul . . . ancient energies and ways.

You give yourself time and space to do this: to find parts of yourself, to put yourself together into the whole. This is time and space to talk to a purer part of yourself . . . it’s a return to innocence.

The Yoga “Tribe”

As you know I’m teaching you “further than yoga”, to accelerate your spiritual vision for those of you who want to walk the Divine path through practice. And if you are drawn to Yoga, the whole of Yoga, going back to ancient teachings to go beyond in your life, then you are one of the “Yoga Tribe” in my opinion.

We are the mediators, we are the sensitive souls reawakened in the West with consciousness hidden in our memories, here at a time when the world needs us for our power to balance.

Reclaiming Power

Many of us have been suffering from erosion of Spirit for years now, stopping this erosion means reclaiming power – this power in Yoga we call Yoga Shakti. I ask you to ask yourself some questions about adapting to the changes we need to make right now in our evolution to contribute towards re-balancing power:

So, let in some light and ask yourself: where in my life do I see the need for change? And how can I let go of those things that I thought were so important, so that I can affect the change I need?

The practices I teach for awakening of Bindu Chakra are mainly on focussed concentration, and you can practice at your own pace in Class 25 of my Weekly Youtube Classes.

Namaste,  Susan

Facebook: SuZen @susannirahilly

Twitter: @furtherthanyoga

Living Simply, Yoga and Balancing Your life . . .

I posted a former blog, Balancing Your Life by Living Simply with Yoga on my Speaking Tree India blog and had the most amazing responses asking for greater clarification of some of the steps to living simply (and to date the blog itself has had over 5900 views and 230-some responses): so the message was clear : simplify the teaching and elaborate on the writing. And I hope this is helpful.

Simple Living is about living consciously and in the moment. Consciousness is about awareness and this “Simple Living” process helps you to raise your awareness of how you’re living your life – and teaches you to live in the magic of life unfolding. An awakening to what is real in life.

As a teacher, I think I have only 3 things to teach: meditate, exercise the body-mind, live simply and with these 3 our health will go a long way.

And here are some of the steps:

Step One:

Meditate. Give yourself time for deep inner nurturing and nourishing.

Making time for our spiritual care is as, if not more, important as making time to eat, sleep, work, socialise. This can begin with 10 minutes a day.

It is the act of creating a “space” in time which is only for the spirit which begins to build an inner structure deep within the bodymind . . . and then this is the basis of our deep nourishing of the self with meditation.

So the simple steps here are: make time, make space. Focus on posture, breathing and silence. Practice regularly.

There are a couple of free downloads I offer, Seeds of Yoga Meditation Parts One and Two, and I would recommend downloading Part One and practising “Sit” and “Breath” to begin: you can download and save to your desktop for regular practice, here.

Step Two:

Go to the “sweetspot” regularly! Listen to meditative music. The Ancient Yogis believed we have a little sac of “Amber Nectar” (the nectar of the Gods) deep within our brains, at the pineal gland. The way to connect with our “sweetspot” is through relaxation and music, raising our vibrations.

There have been many pointers to us from the Ancients in many civilisations that the pineal gland is the point of access for us to our souls and the flow of Consciousness.

In Yoga we understand this as Bindhu Chakra (back of the head, midpoint of the brain). Where we are always receiving the flow of Consciousness . . .  we are in communication with the Divine through our Soul’s connection.

The Ancient Yogis had the beautiful concept of a sac of Amber Nectar here – our own individual nectar of the Gods.

In our Yogasana practice this is why we practice inverted postures, to replenish our Amber Nectar and to reverse the process of our precious “nectar” being burned out by the anger of the solar plexus.

The Ancients believed that, to open ourselves to this sweet nectar of the Gods, we listen to beautiful music and poetry, appreciate beauty in both art and poetry . . . anything that brings us the vibration of the Universe through our senses at a higher level.

One Meditation for this is “No-Mind” meditation through the Chakras, with Unmani Mudra which is the attitude of mindlessness: meaning the state beyond thought, no mind, meditation . . . a simple technique that brings us to a meditative state . . .

Step Three:

Practice Right Diet: Dietary control is very important in living your life with simplicity. We eat those foods which contain the most life force energy and which feed our bodymind emotions and spirits. Traditionally Vegetarianism suits the bodymind of a meditation and Yoga practitioner – but books such as “Eat Right 4 Your Typehave taught us that not everyone can be Vegetarian, Vegan or eat raw food diets. Understanding a little about the Ayurvedic Doshas can also be very illuminating!

Learn what you can about your body and what foods are going to bring you optimum health. Eating little and often suits the body when we are attempting to bring Balance and allow Consciousness to flow.

In the Yoga Diet we try to be aware of the Gunas, and incorporating knowledge of the gunas in our diet for our practice: a Vegetarian (or Vegan) diet is best for practitioners because we try to eat foods which incorporate the most life-force energy and which take the least amount of energy to digest. These are the Sattvic foods which are purest, and promote peace and calm in the bodymind. As the Gunas are qualities of the Universe, these foods are also putting us into harmony and balance.

And now some feedback from the original article: This was one of the comments on the Speaking Tree blog from Sudheindra:

“Being simple has become complex in a mind driven existence which makes every action and thought behind the action complicated. Living has become a chess game for most of us. Calculating every move, excessive caution in every step, a sense of insecurity, fear in relationships have all robbed life of all simplicity which it actually is. Complexity introduces stress & strain and takes away built-in resilience of any system.”

And now, for the heartwarming that this might bring to you, one of the Seekers in India asked:

At some point or other, when a seeker has progressed in practice it is natural for the seeker to ask ” . . . has it happened? What is the sure way to know?”

I replied: . . . the seeker knows because when you wake up in the middle of the night you can feel a calm silence in your heart and when you wake in the morning for the new day, there is a steady happiness present … I sincerely hope you find this.

Sudheindra later posted a PS to his comment, when prompted:

“I wish we can bring back simplicity to life at a collective level to resolve all our problems and conflicts and this can happen only when we make mind an instrument that it is and live from heart. The steps suggested here in this article are the steps to achieve this.”

My Namaskar to you all, and I hope this simplicity will bring you a way to live from the heart.

Namaste, Susan

17 Ways to Find Balance for 2017

I publish my list in January every year, and have done since 2012! This is the list of ways for 2017:

Balance in your life, as far as I know it as a teacher, comes with the steps to life-freedom, which is the philosophy of Yoga, together with practice, and values for your life . . . but, there have been so many wise teachers, with much wisdom to share with us and many of us are seeking balance in our lives. It’s an approach to living that can go a long way in a year.

For 2017 I wanted to write about a lasting approach to getting balance. I couldn’t get to interview the people I would have liked to for this article, and so this is a roundup of what I think they would have answered to my question “How do you get Balance?” based on their famous quotations.

1. Your Meditation is your medication … once it has worked for you, you throw away the medication, throw away the Meditation and get a new one. Osho.

2. If you can’t let it go, let it in. Dainin Katagiri

3. You can’t get there from here, and besides there is no place to go. Sheldon Kopp

4. Nothing is missing, Zen Master Lin-Chi ….. the ordinary person probably does already live with zen values.

5. Appreciate happiness: happiness seems like such a small thing when you have it, but when it’s gone you realise how big it really is. Gorky

6. I have only 3 things to teach: simplicity, patience and compassion. Lao Tzu 7th Century Zen master

7. Know Joy, as in … May all beings know joy … (from the 4 Noble Truths of Zen)

8. Anywhere you are is a sacred place. Joseph Campbell

9. Learn to forgive yourself, again, and again, and again . . . (I couldn’t resist getting another wisdom in from Sheldon Kopp’s Laundry List)

10. Religion is not realisation; not talk, nor doctrine, not theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes, into knowledge. That is religion. Swami Vivekananda

11. Spend some time alone every day. (from the Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules To Live By)

12. This is from Astrologer Rob Brezny:  Cultivate mental and emotional states that ripen us to be ready for anything:  form a strategy to avoid being enthralled with the hypnotic lure of painful emotions, past events, and worries about the future;

13. Don’t forget to break the rules ….. Dalai Lama, Sheldon Kopp, Zen, suZen

14. All teachers make a contribution to Yoga. My contribution is Gibberish – every day talk meaningless Gibberish for a few minutes to clear the mundane mind. Swami Vivekananda

15. Balance is what happens when you know in your heart something is right …. from suZen.

16. Be in awe of the mystery . . . this quote from a man to whom harmony in the Universe was of prime importance, something Albert Einstein said with great beauty and lucidity:

“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself with the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of true religiousness and art.”

17. All is Well. The ultimate life-lesson of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna to Arjuna.

Namaste, Susan

The Language of The Heart

Sacred Heart

Language of the Heart Youtube Meditation Class

The heart has its own language, it’s a silent language of devotion, compassion, kindness and trust. In our Yoga practice we have many, many practices to work with this energy center, the space of the heart, and so I usually teach these over a few classes or workshops.

Our yogic practices help us in opening to our spiritual vision through the silent language of the heart . . . and through dedication to our yoga practice we open, activate and accelerate our spiritual vision so we can work with the divine in our lives. So essentially what this means is learning to recognise our signs, symbols and messages from the Universe about existence flowing through our lives. Most of these are silent, non-verbal communications from the divine and the divine mother . . . then through dedication to our practice we turn intuitions, feelings, fleeting inspirations into enduring behaviour supported by values and meaning.

This is what we are doing right now in our evolution, bringing all the wisdom from our ancient practice together so that we can aspire to the highest creative values for the future.

The language of the heart is silent . . . we call it the “unstruck sound” in the Heart Chakra. And the essence of all that is, is in the heart centre . . . the essence of Divinity within you. So, you are what you ARE not what you do.

In Yoga we know what we are made of, through experience of the koshas, our subtle bodies, which surround the germ of the Self . . . and we say “I AM THAT I AM . . .” in silence and self-awareness for clearer, deeper self-knowledge.

I usually start my teaching by introducing the meditator to the inner relaxation process, so we can start on inner listening. We have heart chakra meditation practice with the hridaya heart hand mudra to subtly and powerfully direct Prana to the space of the heart . . . and bringing together pranayama and breath awareness in the So Ham meditation which means “I AM THAT, THAT I AM . . “

When the Heart Chakra is opened and activated, communicating in its silent language in your inner world of the self, then we understand how it “talks” to our other Chakras especially Guru Chakra, the center of our Wisdom.

namaste, enjoy, Susan

From my heart to yours: a free-to-download audio of Susan reading the Love Poems of Pablo Neruda and Rumi. Enjoy

Awakening the Guru Principle

This is taken from the Satsang in Class 29 of my weekly yogic meditation classes on my Youtube Channel:

Guru Chakra is where we experience the Guru Principle – where we experience the cosmos with qualities of wisdom and knowledge . . . and where we learn command of our identity.

Guru Principle is Divine Principle . . . the experience of the Divine Child within, or Essence. We awaken to this essence and experience ourselves in Universal language when we have been initiated by our teacher or master, through the maturation process of our practice and our spiritual experiences . . . becoming awakened to knowledge and inner wisdom of life’s fundamental questions: who am I? Why am I here? What is my relationship with the Divine?

This process of initiation is important because it is leading the student, or disciple to the point at which we experience the bridge between our humanity and Divine Consciousness and then from this point of awakening onwards we are capable of guiding ourselves with wisdom and becoming master of our own identity.

As you now know from our meditation practices, without training and strengthening our focus of concentration, we can’t experience the necessary inner silence and stillness to experience the energy of Guru Chakra . . . without the steps of our path we don’t attain the maturity we need for practice, and this of course is initiation . . . emotional, psychological, spiritual . . . .

. . . it is the inner stillness and silence that creates the space within for our experience of witnessing.

We don’t need to seek truth, it is all around us . . . we need to witness it. When we’ve cultured the qualities of clarity and wisdom, then Guru Principle has been awakened . . . along with the ability to discriminate between truth and untruth, reality and unreality.

You can deduce that this process and principle is far, far more vastly powerful and sacred than the claims of teachers, for example in short Youtube videos, who claim the glamour of “opening the third eye” . . . and the reason for my emphasis on your training over these classes and my careful guidance through this process, as I am not there with you in person to guide your initiation.

So, in our nervous centres we react to the language of the Universe, cosmic rhythms – the planets speaking to us in Divine terms of patterns and cycles of energy – these reactions we have in the nerve plexuses associated with out Chakras. But the energetic centers, our gateways to cosmic vibrations, which are more psychic, are experienced closer to the spine in our human mindbody. And, as you know, Guru, Agya of Ajna Chakra is the energetic centre at the top of the spine – where masculine and feminine, divine masculine and divine feminine, divine and the mother or power of nature, heaven and earth, meet within us to create the Divine Child within or our Essence . . . knowledge of which gives us our identity.

Your Guru knows your identity: you are not what you do . . . what you are, is this essence within, this Divine Child.

When you awaken to this knowledge, this is the evolution of your consciousness . . . which the guru or master treats as sacred, honouring the spirit dwelling within your human mindbody.

So, the Guru represents the Universal, Divine Principle that leads us from darkness to light – which means from ignorance to knowledge, from death to immortality: and immortality means the eternal nature of your Soul.

When disciple and Master unite, when the “Guru Principle” has been awakened in the consciousness of the disciple and the disciple begins to guide himself, the disciple then becomes his own master.

I want to leave you with this: it is knowledge from one particular planetary cycle going on for another couple of years . . .

. . . we are not likely to get much reinforcement from others at this time and could be forced to rely on inner resources and self-confidence. We should not expect others to provide us with backbone; we need to provide our own. “

And there is a lesson to be learned here: “The more we identify with what we do rather than what we are, the more difficulties this influence will cause . . .

. . . you are not what you do.

When we confront these issues of: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my relationship with the Divine? Then we learn to handle life much more successfully because we don’t always have to protect ourself.”
Qualities of command, knowledge and wisdom protect us.
Namaste

Crown Chakra Point of Peace

This is taken from the Satsang teaching in my weekly meditation class in the yogic tradition on my Youtube Channel: Class 30 on Crown Chakra practices:

 

A short Satsang today for this class, Class 30 the final class in this series of practices in my Further Than Yoga teachings. I want to give you time in contemplation today . . . these are big concepts and infinite energy which we are attempting to contain and understand within a human mindbody.

Over the weeks, I’ve been teaching you to expand your Spiritual Vision so that you can walk the Divine Path and live with Simplicity of Divinity in your life.

With practice in Crown Chakra meditation we realise this vision . . .being at one at the point where consciousness fuses with our human matter and energy . . . seeing life, our world, our universe with spiritual eyes and understanding the need for our practice.

Crown Chakra as such is not a chakra as it is not an energy centre within our human mindbody system . . . rather as we know it is a point of fusion physically described as situated slightly above our crown. So it is a point in our spiritual body of what we call in yoga “the abode of highest consciousness” where fusion happens . . . when we are open to that and have evolved our consciousness through our meditation practice.

And in our meditation practice, having undergone the initiation into our practices with the teacher or master, we’ve been opening and awakening . . .

. . . especially in the process of opening the heart centre, for it is impossible to open to the fusion of divine and human, matter and energy if the heart centre is not open to love and devotion.

We’ve then been through the process of opening Guru chakra and Bindu chakra . . . the development of your consciousness has progressed, like the seeds of a lotus we say.

For this is the symbol of the Crown Chakra, Sahasrara, the thousand petaled lotus flower radiating light the symbol of Divine Consciousness and the Supreme Self. Sahasrara in Sanskrit means thousand or infinite. And in our yogic meditation, the steps I have been teaching you, also known as Raja Yoga, these 2 are one force which does exist within our individual soul but of which we are not usually conscious.

For this consiousness to develop and evolve, we follow our steps of practice until we get to the stage of Dhyana, or the Dhyan meditation which you have practised today . . . absorption in deep meditation. The Dhyan meditation predates the Buddha . . . our practises being documented 4,000 – 5,000 years ago . . . and Dhyan travelled eastwards from India after the Buddha’s time becoming Zen.

So the Divine Consciousness and the Supreme Self are 2 primal principals which we realise are one when we become “one with self” or when we evolve our consciousness to “oneness with consciousness”.

And I’ll leave you with this quote from Swami Maheshwarananda for your contemplation:

“When we are unable to see or experience anything in meditation, it is because our vision is obstructed by the barrier of the limited “I”. Though our Soul (known as the Atma) is directly connected to God, and is, in fact, God, we are not yet conscious of this.”

I would encourage you in spending time  in your own contemplation of these teachings and concepts . . .

Namaste

Susan